Aspartame is it bad for health?

Who should we believe? Some recent studies that say it is harmful and carcinogenic or official agencies that guarantee its safety?

Short answer

Two studies published in December 2010 stated that aspartame causes preterm birth at a very high rate or it promotes the onset of cancer.
The European Food Safety Authority found that aspartame is not dangerous for adults, for the least we can do is to not recommend it for pregnant women as for all sweeteners. WHO now (2023) recommends avoiding all sweeteners for all.

Long answer

Recent studies

Thorhallur Halldorsson conducted in 2010 a study on 59,334 Danish women showing that sweeteners alter profoundly the course of a pregnancy. Aspartame is composed of several molecules that are dissociated after ingestion and spread throughout the body with unknown effects.
According to this study, a glass of drink containing aspartame each day increases by 38% the risk of premature birth.
With four glasses, the probability increases of 78%.

Morando Soffritti from Bologna supervised a study showing a link between aspartame consumption with leukemia and lymphoma.
This study in rats showed a harmful effect from 4 mg per kilogram of body weight, then 0.24 grams for a 60 kg person. You would drink three glasses of sugar-free drink per day to reach this dose.

A study published in 2021 concludes that aspartamn like other common sweeteners, sucralose and saccharin, could modify bacteria in the intestines and make them pathogenic, leading to health problems. This remain to be confirmed. The study does not talk about stevia.

Previous Studies

Consumer groups have called for a ban on the sale of aspartame from the findings of both studies.

But this contradicts previous studies that have not seen any link to cancer. And it also contradicts the facts. If these doses caused cancer, we must have had a very big development of the disease since the sale of the product, which is not the case.

Other studies on millions of people for 20 years have not demonstrated a link between aspartame and cancer.
It was deemed safe for consumption by more than 9 countries, including the USA.


EFSA, European Food Safety Authority, released in February 2011 an advice finding no danger to adults.

It is estimated that the amount is acceptable to over 40 mg per kg of body weight per day by the European Commission and 50 mg according to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
A twenty cans of soda without sugar must be drunk to achieve this dose. A normal diet, even for a diabetic, does not reach the dose.

There is a natural product, Stevia, a plant extract traditionally used in Japan that could replace aspartame. Derivatives, the Truvia and PureVia are allowed in the USA. There is even more doubt about the safety of this product than for aspartame.

A more recent study, in 2022, concludes that regular consumption of sweeteners, aspartame or sucralose increases the risk of cancer and diabetes. In 2023, WHO rcommands to avoir any sweeterner including stevia for these reasons, based on statistics. In 2023 the WHO recommends avoiding all sweeteners, including stevia, for these reasons, based on statistics. But this is disputed by the FDA in the USA, which believes that the studies provide no certainty.